mnot’s blog

Design depends largely on constraints.” — Charles Eames

Friday, 15 July 2005

Don’t use the ‘feed’ URI Scheme

It’s been covered before elsewhere, but just a friendly reminder: ‘feed’ URIs are bad for the Web, as are any that are used solely for dispatch (e.g., ‘itms’, ‘pcast’).

I’m looking at you, Apple.

Interestingly, Apple also supports doing Web dispatch the right way; with media types. I know this because going to my test page — a zero-length file with a generic extension, but a ‘application/atom+xml’ media type — gets dispatched to my RSS reader in Safari on Tiger.

They also do content sniffing (the wrong way, but not so hideously evil and intrusive as creating a whole new URI scheme), because feeds that are served as text/plain (for example) seem to get dispatched pretty reliably too.

So, why the new URI scheme? Complete cluelessness? A Pyrrhic plan to devalue the Web? What is it, Steve?

Filed under: Standards Syndication Web


Randy Charles Morin said:

I just wanted to point out that USM [] is and I hope you agree a better alternative for RSS. Actually, I'd like to know if you agree.

Friday, July 15 2005 at 11:10 AM +10:00

rjt said:

I've always wanted to know why OPML can't be used for this.

Tuesday, July 19 2005 at 5:53 PM +10:00

Mark Nottingham said:


I think you're going in the right general direction; good stuff.

A couple of things; "application/rss+xml" isn't registered, and isn't likely to be, because the IESG wants what they consider a stable reference for the spec; e.g., an RFC. They don't consider a URL good enough, so this is at a standstill. A more fruitful path would be to register a media type in the vendor or personal trees; e.g., application/prs.winer.rss+xml.

My inclination would be either to use a bare element or XLink for the RSS extension; that way, you don't have to use Atom elements in RSS, which will confuse and/or turn off some people to this solution.

Wednesday, July 27 2005 at 6:22 PM +10:00

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